Dream Demon is a 1988 horror film co-written & directed by Harley Cokeliss (Black Moon Rising, Malone, Battletruck, & That Summer!). Harley Cokeliss was the second unit director for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. It was co-written by Christopher Wicking (The Oblong Box, Scream and Scream Again, Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, & Murders in the Rue Morgue). It was produced by Paul Webster (Drop Dead Fred, Romeo is Bleeding, Sexy Beast, Little Odessa, Gridlock’d, & Eastern Promises) & Nik Powell (The Crying Game, Mona Lisa, The Company of Wolves, & Dust Devil). As her marriage to decorated war hero Oliver (played by: Mark Greenstreet from Doctor Who & Trainer) draws near, well-heeled Diana (played by: Jemma Redgrave from Bramwell, The Grid, Dracula, & Doctor Who) moves into her sprawling new London home where she starts to experience strange & terrifying nightmares.
Are these blood-curdling night terrors merely the symptom of an unsettled mind or the sign of something far sinister at work? Hounded by a pair of sleazy journalists (played by: Timothy Spall from the Harry Potter franchise & Jimmy Nail from Howling II: … Your Sister Is a Werewolf) which makes things worse. Diana soon crosses paths with American tourist Jenny (played by: Kathleen Wilhoite from E.R., Road House, Murphy’s Law, & Color of Night) who appears to have a strange connection to the foreboding house and its sinister past. As her dreams & nightmares become a reality, Diana is starting to lose her sanity. Will she be able to go back to normal? or Will she be forever trapped in her own living hell????
Dream Demon has a great opening scene & it really grabs your attention right away. This feature really depends on it’s visuals & nightmare scenes. The script was solid but it left more of it to the imagination when it came to the overall concept so depending on the person they could have a different view on it. It kinda goes into thriller territory at times & then a woman losing her mind during the rest of it. The special fx are one of the highlights here & it takes back to the great days of the 80’s. Jemma Redgrave has a great performance in Dream Demon & she carries the feature with her madness during it. It had a little bit of A Nightmare on Elm Street vibe to it because Diana’s awful dreams became a reality. So if you got killed or died in them, then you were gone for real. It had a good supporting cast that included Kathleen Wilhoite, Timothy Spall, Jimmy Nail, & Mark Greenstreet. This one is rarely seen & unknown to most horror fans. They were pumping out smaller horror flicks in the 80’s to fill up those rental shelves & this was one of them. Director Harley Cokeliss went back & put together his preferred cut for Dream Demon for this brand new release. It’s definitely an improvement over the original version. Dream Demon is much better than expected & holds up better than most from it’s time, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Arrow Video!!!! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is from a brand new 2K restoration of the original film elements for the never before released director’s cut. It’s always nice when directors can go back their films & release the version that they wanted to back in the day. Harley Cokeliss finally gets to show the world his cut thanks to the great folks at Arrow Video. This one is a little more unknown so it didn’t have that many past home video releases. If you go back & compare to them, this brand new blu ray blows them all away & it’s the best it’s ever looked. Dream Demon has some real nice visuals & they shine here. The English: LPCM 2.0 track sounds great. All of the dialogue is crystal clear. All the nightmares are elevated & the music has a killer boost to it. It also has English SDH subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Arrow Video! This one is loaded with bonus material. It has the original “Theatrical version” as an extra if you are curious to see the differences with that cut of the film. “Audio Commentary” with director Harley Cokeliss & producer Paul Webster on select scenes. They go over about 46 minutes of the film for this track for various scenes from the Dream Demon. “Dream Master” is a brand new little over 27 minute interview with director Harley Cokeliss. He chats about replacing someone else for this & how he got involved with the film. He talks about doing lots of re-writes during the shoot. He goes over the visuals for it. He mentions the cast & crew for the production. He chats about the studio going out of business when this was released so it didn’t get a big push & got forgotten real quick so he considers it a lost feature. He talks about his search for the film elements for over 30 years & finally finding it to do this release. He says the main difference with the director’s cut is the ending. He goes over the restoration process a little bit & color correcting this new version of Dream Demon. “A Nightmare on Eton Avenue” is a brand new little over 27 minute interview with producer Paul Webster. He chats about how he got into the film industry & the companies that he worked for during his start. He talks about some films he worked on or handled back then. He goes over how this project started as just A Nightmare on Elm Street rip off. He brings up putting it together with the original director & writer. He mentions it took awhile to get made so he lost some of the creative minds that were setting it up. He chats about it being influenced by Princess Diana’s problem with the media at the time & getting a new team to work on it while developing it. He goes over the cast & crew. He mentions it’s release & what happened during it. He brings up his other gigs & who he has worked with over the years. “Dreaming of Diana” is a brand new little over 16 minute interview with actress Jemma Redgrave. He chats about getting the role & being nervous about it. She talks about it being based on Princess Diana. She goes over her experience on Dream Demon. She brings up her working relationships with the cast & crew. She mentions a few scenes that were deleted from the film. She chats about some of the dangerous stuff that she had to do for it. “Cold Reality” is a brand new almost 10 minute interview with actor Mark Greenstreet. He tells a few stories about the production. He chats about Dream Demon & working on it. “Sculpting the Part” is a brand new almost 9 minute interview with actor Nickolas Grace. He says he took the role because he always wanted to do a horror movie. He chats about his character being nasty in this. He talks about how they didn’t really make it clear that he was a sculptor in it. He goes some some stunt work he did on it with fire.
“Angels and Demons” is a brand new little over 9 minute interview with actress Annabelle Lanyon. She chats about starting out in dance. She talks about doing the film Legend. She goes her character in Dream Demon. She brings the special fx she had to work with on it. She says they sent me the statue of herself after it was over & her neighborhood didn’t know what to think of it at the time. “Demonic Tones” is a brand new little over 15 minute interview with composer Bill Nelson. He chats about his music & how it got him into movies. He says Dream Demon was his first film that he scored. He breaks down the equipment he used for it. He goes over his experience & what he added to the feature. “Foundations of Nightmare: The Making of Dream Demon” is a little over 26 minute documentary about the film. It takes a look behind the scenes of the production of Dream Demon. It has on-set interviews with director Harley Cokeliss, producer Paul Webster, actors Timothy Spall, Jemma Redgrave, Kathleen Wilhoite, composer Bill Nelson, & others. The cast & crew talk about the production while filming. It has all kinds of behind the scenes footage from the set. It shows them putting on the special fx & transforming an actor into his sinister character. This is a really cool inside look into making this low budget feature. “Image Gallery” for both Promotional & Behind the Scenes. It has a “Trailer” for the movie. It also has a high quality slipcover, it has reversible artwork, a booklet full of information plus pictures, & an awesome double sided poster for this special edition release. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!